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Power Integrations SCALE-iDriver achieves AEC-Q100 automotive qualification

Published: 18 March 2020 - Christian Lynn

Power Integrations has announced that its SIC118xKQ SCALE-iDriver, a high-efficiency, single-channel gate driver for silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, is now certified to AEC-Q100 for automotive use. Devices can be configured to support gate-drive voltage requirements of commonly used SiC MOSFETs, and feature sophisticated safety and protection features.

The SIC1182KQ (1200V) and SIC1181KQ (750V) SCALE-iDriver devices are optimised for driving SiC MOSFETs in automotive applications, exhibiting rail-to-rail output, fast gate switching speed, unipolar supply voltage supporting positive and negative output voltages, integrated power and voltage management and reinforced isolation. Critical safety features include Drain to Source Voltage (VDS) monitoring-, SENSE readout, primary and secondary Undervoltage Lock-out (UVLO), current-limited gate drive and Advanced Active Clamping (AAC), which facilitates safe operation and soft turn-off -under fault conditions. AAC, in combination with VDS monitoring, ensures safe turn-off in less than 2µs during short-circuit conditions. Gate-drive control and AAC features allow gate resistance to be minimised; this reduces switching losses, maximising inverter efficiency.  

By pairing the SCALE-iDriver control and safety features with its high-speed FluxLink communication technology, isolation capability is improved, enabling safe, cost-effective designs for inverters with few external components, up to 300kW. 

Michael Hornkamp, senior director of marketing for automotive gate-driver products at Power Integrations, had this to say: “Silicon carbide MOSFET technology opens the door for smaller, lighter automotive inverter systems. Switching speeds and operating frequencies are increasing; our low gate resistor values maintain switching efficiency, while our fast short circuit response quickly protects the system in the event of a fault.”

“Furthermore, SCALE-iDriver sets a new standard in isolation robustness for functional safety; even if a power device causes catastrophic driver failure, SCALE-iDriver’s isolation remains intact, ensuring that no part of the chassis will carry life-threatening high voltages,” continued Hornkamp.

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